Market research is the gathering, structuring and analysis of information on products, services, markets and market structures. Market research is a fundamental step in entering new markets, an obvious step in exploiting existing markets better, a crucial step during the restructuring of markets and often the saving of markets in decline. Without market research, organisations do not have the ability to make informed risk/reward decisions in sales, marketing, joint ventures and acquisitions. Z/Yen has developed its market research capabilities in support of its clients both as part of larger assignments or a specific project on its own.
For instance, for one new entrant to the business to business services sector, Z/Yen researched both national and international markets which provided them with the information they required to get financial backing of several million. Working with the client over the past few years, Z/Yen continues to help them evaluate new markets, to revitalise old markets and to ensure that their continuing investment decisions are made with a realistic appraisal of the markets they enter. Over time, the joint team has developed a multi-layer model which helps them to segment and position products and services (see diagram). A typical research pattern might consist of five stages:
Z/Yen has conducted market research in many sectors, although skills are strongest in business to business services, professional services and high technology. Market research clients have included outsourcing companies, software firms, electrical and medical instrument manufacturers, telecommunications companies, accountancy partnerships, bulk chemical suppliers, textile companies, industrial valve exporters, banking services, coatings and special papers. Z/Yen also works with specialists on information gathering in particular sectors, uses automated tools such as PropheZy for providing an ongoing service and integrates market research with its proprietary risk/reward methodology and sales processes such as PPRISM.